BENDING THE ARC
A powerful documentary about the extraordinary team of doctors and activists - including Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl - whose work thirty years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all. Epic, yet intimate, the film is a compelling argument for the power of collective and personal vision and will to turn the tide of history.
DOCUMENTARY WORLD PREMIERES – SUNDANCE 2017
Directed by Academy Award-Nominee Kief Davidson
& Primetime Emmy Award Winner Pedro Kos
Written by Academy Award-Nominee Cori Shepherd Stern
Produced by Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
Press & Industry Screening
Sunday, January 22 at 12:30 PM - Holiday 3
Public Premiere Screening
Monday, January 23 at Noon - Library Center Theatre
Filmmakers Kief Davidson, Pedro Kos, Cori Shepherd Stern
& Film Subjects including Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Ophelia Dahl, Dr. Agnès Binagwaho In-Person
Wednesday, January 25 at 9:00 AM - Yarrow Hotel Theatre
Filmmakers in person, as well as some Subjects
Sunday, January 29 at 6:00 PM - Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City
Filmmakers in person, as well as some Subjects
Thirty years ago, as much of the world was being ravaged by horrific diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis, three remarkable young people, barely out of their teens - Jim Yong Kim, Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl - came together in a squatter settlement in Haiti.
Determined to provide the same world-class level of medical care they would expect for their own families to the Haitians that soon became their friends, they faced obstacles so enormous they weren’t even considered surmountable by the rest of the world.
They managed to bring together the resources to build real health clinics in areas that had been ignored by everyone else - where patients were as likely to arrive by donkey as by ambulance - and stocked them with the same medical supplies that could be found in places like Harvard Medical School. (Indeed, in some cases, supplies that were found at Harvard made their way to Haiti.)
Idealistic but very inexperienced, they suffered tragic early failures that made them question the way they were delivering healthcare. This led them to develop, in partnership with the patients themselves and guided by medical anthropology, a revolutionary and controversial model: training their friends and neighbors - ordinary Haitian villagers - as health care workers.
And most remarkably - despite enormous resistance from the outside world - they treated diseases that the experts had determined could not or should not be treated in the poor because of expense and difficulty.
The ground-breaking work they began in Haiti- creating a remarkable model of how to deliver the highest-quality care in the most unlikely places - would eventually grow to have massive global effects.
They expanded beyond Haiti to Peru, then onwards to Rwanda. They averted a deadly MDR-TB epidemic, treating dying patients against official World Health Organization policy. They took on AIDS - becoming the first doctors in the world to treat AIDS patients in rural settings with full-courses of anti-retrovirals.
As a result, world policies changed, deeply entrenched ideas transformed, and millions of lives were pulled back from the brink of death.
Through remarkably candid interviews, stunning never-before-seen archival and on-the-ground footage shot in the midst of a deadly epidemic, the audience is immersed in the struggle of these fiercely dedicated characters as they fight ancient diseases, scrape together funding with the lives of their friends on the line, face scorn and hostility from the global health establishment, and suffer heartbreaking mistakes from their own lack of experience.
Reaching far beyond the issue of healthcare, it’s a grander narrative about how the evolution of humanity happens: how moral imagination, strategy, and sheer will together can change the trajectory of the world, bending the arc of the universe forever.
SUNDANCE PAGE – BENDING THE ARC
OFFICIAL PHOTOS– BENDING THE ARC
CREDITS – MAIN CAST & CREW
Dr. Paul Farmer
Dr. Jim Yong Kim
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho
Dr. Joia Mukherjee
Directed by Kief Davidson, Pedro Kos
Produced by Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern
Written by Cori Shepherd Stern
Edited by Pedro Kos, Yuki Aizawa
Cinematographers David Murdock, Guy Mossman, Joshua Dreyfus, Nick Higgins, Kief Davidson
Music H. Scott Salinas and Matthew Atticus Berger
Co-Producers Judy Korin, David Murdock
Dan Cogan, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Eric & Barbara Dobkin, Rick Rosenthal & Nancy Stephens, Damon & Heidi Lindelof, Lekha Singh, Patty Quillin, Nina & David Fialkow, Diana Barrett for the Fledgling Fund, Joan Platt, Jim & Susan Swartz, Emerson Collective, The Pershing Square Foundation, Sally Osberg, Sandy Herz, Bernard Friedman, Sean Mewshaw & Desi VanTil